Aug 13, 2010

Snyder trying to weasel out of debates

Lansing Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Virg Bernero accepted three debates across the state on Thursday, and he said he would work with Republican nominee Rick Snyder to accept more. However, it appears the Snyder campaign is trying to get out of them just like he did with the Republicans debates during the primary election.

Bernero formally issued a challenge earlier this month to hold eight debates before the November 2 election. However, Snyder is clinging to this “outsider” tag with a death grip, and that’s why the public knows so little about his stand on issues. He has declined to fill out questionnaires from the many groups that endorse or present information on the candidates to the public or their members, and he has ducked GOP debates; instead holding “ town hall” meetings around the state in front of friendly audiences.

Bernero issued a press release on Thursday saying he has accepter the three debates. The three debates Bernero has accepted include a WOOD-TV debate on Sept. 21, a joint WXYZ/WWJ/Crain’s Detroit Business debate on Oct. 21, and a debate that will air on WKAR-TV, WJBK Fox 2 in Detroit, WLNS Channel 6 in Lansing, Michigan Public Broadcasting stations, WWJ Radio in Detroit, the Michigan Radio Network and other commercial TV and radio stations on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.

"We’ve been inundated with offers for debates, and we appreciate the offers, and will work with the Snyder campaign to schedule more debates to give Michigan voters the opportunity to know what we really stand for, and our vision and plans to put Michigan back to work.” Bernero said. “The people of Michigan are starved for a chance to compare candidates side by side, and we’re committed to giving voters every opportunity to see us debate.”

Not so fast.

According to subscription only Gongwer, “Snyder spokesperson Bill Nowling said Mr. Snyder has not agreed to appear at the three debates cited by Mr. Bernero. No negotiations between the campaigns have occurred, Mr. Nowling said.” Livingston County residents are familiar with Nowling and his problems with telling the truth, so I’m not sure what that really means.

It’s obvious Snyder doesn’t really want to debate, based on how badly he performed in the few he did during the primary and that fact that most of his appearances have been so controlled and only in front of friendly audiences and friendly media.

This could also be a face saving angle for the Snyder campaign to make sure as few people as possible actually see any debate he agrees to. Snyder is wrapped himself so tightly in the outsider blanket that he wants nothing to interfere with that expensive image he bought with the millions he made cheating stockholders; like facts and the fact he has no idea how state government works. His preferred campaign mode is the millions he has spent on 30-scond TV commercials crafting the false image of “one tough nerd.”

Even Nowling’s quote tells us that.

“We will leave the debate about debates to the career politicians,” he told Gongwer.

Fortunately, government is nothing like a private business. He can’t just tell the Legislature what to do and fire them if they don’t comply, and he can’t outsource the jobs of 20,000 state employees to China to balance the budget like he did at Gateway.

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